Dallas Arboretum Debuts A Tasteful Place, A Year-Round Food Oasis

Majestically placed overlooking White Rock Lake and downtown Dallas, the verdant 3.5-acre garden is woven in a beautiful trapestry of ornamentally displayed fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers.

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden will soon offer another attractive addition to its property when it opens A Tasteful Place, an edible display garden, complete with a newly developed lagoon and meandering walkways, thus providing an additional year-round destination.

The 3.5-acre garden also includes a pavilion with event space and a teaching kitchen, an orchard, beds of ornamental display vegetables, herbs and flowers, as well as shaded porches and walkways. A Tasteful Place was inspired by the movement toward growing and eating sustainable fresh, locally grown food. This $12 million garden officially opens on October 3 at a ribbon cutting, followed by A Garden Gala Party, a ticketed event, on October 15.

Mark Wolf, Dallas Arboretum board chairman, said, “A Dallas landmark and international destination, the Dallas Arboretum has carefully planned for many years to build A Tasteful Place to fit in with our mission of being not only a beautiful display garden, but also one involved in education and research. There are few other gardens in the country doing what we’re doing here at this level. ”

A Tasteful Place opens during the Arboretum’s popular fall festival, Autumn at the Arboretum, presented by Rogers-O’Brien, when thousands of guests visit the popular pumpkin houses built with many of the 90,000 pumpkins on property, and more are expected to see this new destination.

The many beautiful features of A Tasteful Place includes:

• Potager Display Gardens: Four individual quadrants comprise the ornamental kitchen garden, or “potager,” pronounced, pot·a·ger or ˈpätijə(r) as it is called by the French, which is a productive working garden that is also visually beautiful, drawing on European gardening principals and artful arrangement. The Potager Gardens are a signature element of the development with in-season vegetables, herbs and flowers, planted ornamentally and interspersed with flowers to attract pollinators and beneficial insects.  Of the four potagers, one is named for Marilyn R. Corrigan and the other for her daughter, Catherine A. Corrigan.

• The Charlotte and Donald Test Pavilion, a 3,600-square-foot building with 180 degree views of the garden, lagoon and walkways, features event space and teaching kitchen to showcase chefs who will demonstrate preparation of garden-to-table cuisine. It’s also a site for cooking classes, educational programs and special events.

• The Barbara and Bob Bigham Scenic Overlook, a perfect location for weddings, wine tastings, seated dinners and picnics, overlooking downtown Dallas and White Rock Lake.

• Ruthie Pack’s Tasting Plaza, a site of daily tastings featuring seasonal produce.

• Central Stairway and Promenade, a beautiful stairway that descends from the entry plaza and Gisela Rodriguez Gazebo to welcome visitors to the garden, along with panoramic views of the new additions.

• The Strolling Trail, a U-shaped paved ADA accessible walkway to take visitors circuitously to see the garden.

• The Three Sisters Outlook, the trellis covered patio provides a shaded spot to view A Tasteful Place, the lagoon and meandering walkways and downtown Dallas; it’s also a site for intimate celebrations.

• The Margaret and Jay Simmons Lagoon, a signature feature of A Tasteful Place and more than an acre, it sits just below the main garden and provides a large, natural body of water.  The center will feature a beautiful, lighted fountain that changes shape and pattern. The edges of the lagoon are surrounded by large boulders and lush lawns. A bridge crosses a cascading stream that pours into the lagoon. Meandering paths allow visitors to enjoy the ambience and beauty of this new garden.

• The Carol M. Kelley Orchard and Patio, a variety of fruit-bearing trees suitable to the Texas climate surround a shaded patio.

• The Tory and Dick Agnich and Dodie Trescher Shaded Patio, on the southern end of the Pavilion, this adjoining patio provides seating for guests.

• The Ann Stuart Veranda at the Garden Pavilion, a covered front patio of the Garden Pavilion that looks directly over the four potager gardens.

• Kathy Messina and Gary Goodwin Garden Entrance provides a special entrance to A Tasteful Place for use during special events.

• The Tim Wallace Garden to Table Walkway, a wide center walkway from the Pavilion to the overlook, suitable for garden-to-table dinners.

Programming includes a robust year-round calendar of activities:

• daily tastings of recipes developed from the featured vegetable of the week

• hands-on cooking classes and cooking demonstrations led by prominent chefs

• quarterly garden-to-table dinners

• nutrition presentations

• horticulture demonstrations

• parent/child cooking classes

• special events

“Our climate is perfect in North Texas for having produce available every day,” said Jenny Wegley, Dallas Arboretum’s vice president of horticulture. This garden will be beautiful, educational and active, so whenever you visit, there will be something new to sample, to learn and to experience. Whether it’s discovering how to prepare vegetables that are in season or enjoying a garden-to-table dinner prepared by a chef in this newest venue of the Arboretum, there will be something that appeals to everyone.”

A Tasteful Place will also be available to rent for special events, corporate functions and weddings. Those interested can contact Angela Rollins at arollins@dallasarboretum.org.